Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Penguins one win from second straight Stanley Cup after thrashing Predators


The night began with a catfish throw.

It ended with haymaker after haymaker – both literal and proverbial – on the ever resilient Pittsburgh Penguins.

The defending champions provided an emphatic and repeated reminder with the means they such a difficult outside a 6-0 demolition with the Nashville Predators in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final to adopt a three-games-to-two lead.

Pittsburgh have a possiblity to get to be the first franchise in 19 years to regain to back Cups when the series shifts into Nashville for Game 6 on Sunday night.

“Understand that we are going to play a desperate team,” said Penguins captain Sidney Crosby after collecting three assists. “Nothing’s done yet and we’ve lots of work previous to ourselves.”

So carry out Predators, who can’t get in touch with Smashville quick enough.

Justin Schultz, Bryan Rust and Evgeni Malkin scored in a first-period barrage against Pekka Rinne that sent the Nashville goaltender to your bench through out overnight, the many good mojo he created in a couple of wins in Games 3 and 4 gone.

Conor Sheary, Phil Kessel – just like linemate Malkin predicted – and 35-year-old playoff newbie Ron Hainsey also scored for any Penguins. Crosby’s eventful night included becoming the franchise’s all-time leading scorer during the Stanley Cup final, a two-minute roughing penalty for attempting to dribble Nashville defenseman PK Subban’s directly the ice nearby the end within the first period as well as flip associated with a water bottle into the ice during play.

“It’s one amongst those activities it slipped away from me,” Crosby said. “I has a gesture with me and before I knew it the one thing was flying over the ice. I understand you just aren’t permitted to do this, so I’m not really planning to start executing it inside Stanley Cup final.”

Matt Murray bounced back from so-so performances during Pittsburgh’s lost weekend in Nashville to help make 24 stops whilst benefiting from a dominant performance because of the guys ahead of him.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan, because has per within the latter springs when his team finds itself in a very tight spot, pushed each of the right buttons again. He tied to Murray, reunited Sheary with Crosby and Jake Guentzel, and stressed his team were required to use urgency though not desperation following the Predators rallied to tie the series by outscoring the Penguins 9-2 during two wins in Nashville.

It took each one of 91 seconds for Pittsburgh for getting its swagger back.

Just 91 seconds after a Nashville fan flipped a catfish into the PPG Paints Arena ice – moving that came shortly before a three-goal outburst by Nashville in Game 1 – Schultz powered home a slapshot to finish an 0-for-15 power-play skid.

“We were on our toes tonight,” Schultz said. “We were really jumping and playing our game, playing fast. The whole thing began with that start but got us taking other game.”

Rust managed to get 2-0 just 6:43 in to the game with a nasty backhand flip over Rinne’s glove.

Then things got chippy (plus a little weird) to the game’s best player. Crosby and Subban became snarled behind the Nashville net late inside first period, with Crosby found themselves over Subban. Crosby then started hitting Subban while in the head repeatedly, eventually drawing a roughing penalty while Subban – who quipped that Crosby was complaining about Subban’s foul breath on a Game 3 exchange – stopped for holding.

Malkin ripped a wrist shot over Rinne’s glove to the ensuing 4-on-4 making it 3-0 with just 10 seconds left within the first. Rinne turned into Juuse Saros at the beginning of your second period after stopping just six of nine shots, continuing his wildly uneven play. Rinne stopped 50 of 52 shots he faced back in Games 3 and 4. He’s stopped just 34 of 45 in Pittsburgh within the series.

Saros hardly fared any benefit. Sheary took quite an feed from Crosby and sent it by Saros 1:19 to the second to push Pittsburgh’s trigger four. Kessel ended a six-game goal drought 8:02 into the second. The score ended up being predicted by Malkin plus it came just seconds after Crosby threw a water bottle onto the ice since the play went by Pittsburgh’s bench, a move he told referees was unintentional.

When Hainsey, who waited 907 regular-season games before reaching the playoffs the first time there is much surprise, tapped within a pass from Malkin to really make it 6-0, occurs was seeking the Penguins to return to familiar territory.

The franchise has won all four of their Cups traveling. An attempt in the fifth awaits Sunday, though it’ll hardly be easy.

The Predators are 9-1 from home within the playoffs, a location they will likely ought to be a haven again if they choose to extend their improbable Cup run – and also a flat-out odd final – to Pittsburgh.


Crosby is now offering 20 career points inside Stanley Cup final, a brand new franchise record and the other over team owner Mario Lemieux. … Crosby also moved towards a tie with Denis Potvin for 19th about the all-time career playoff scoring list. … The group that’s got won Game 5 within a 2-2 series proceeded to go to win the Cup 71 percent (17 of 24) times since 1939. … The teams combined for 100 penalty minutes (58 for Nashville, 42 for Pittsburgh). … Guentzel’s assist moved him to a tie with Dino Ciccarelli and Ville Leino for the best playoff points by way of a rookie in NHL history (21). … Penguins F Nick Bonino missed his third straight game having a lower-body injury. … Nashville F Colin Wilson made his series debut after missing the initial four games through an undisclosed injury. Wilson skated about the fourth line with Frederick Gaudreau and Harry Zolnierczyk.

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